Irish voters this week gave the European Union permission to expand eastward to include former Soviet-bloc nations. Two years ago, the other 14 E.U. nations approved a treaty that would allow it to admit Eastern European nations such as Poland, Latvia, and Hungary. Due to a quirk in its constitution, Ireland was the only European nation that required a popular vote to approve the agreement. The Irish defeated the treaty in a desultory, low-turnout vote last year, embarrassing the government. So this year the prime minister spearheaded a major pro-treaty campaign, and it won in a landslide. “The Irish people just made about 100 million friends in Central and Eastern Europe,” said one Latvian diplomat. Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller raised a pint of Guinness and sang, “I love you, Ireland!”
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.
Sign up to our 10 Things You Need to Know Today newsletter
A free daily digest of the biggest news stories of the day - and the best features from our website
5 hilarious cartoons about the George Santos expulsion vote
Cartoons Artists take on Santa versus Santos, his X account, and more
By The Week US Published
Places that are already seeing a boost in tourism due to climate change
The Explainer Warmer temperatures are moving travelers north
By Devika Rao, The Week US Published
6 snow-or-sun hotels to visit this winter
The Week Recommends Make your winter dreams a reality at these properties
By Catherine Garcia, The Week US Published